Sex is meant to be enjoyed. The worry of getting pregnant is something neither you nor your partner need hanging over you when you have it.
It’s important to plan ahead of having intercourse, to ensure you can enjoy the moment but also not worry about unwanted consequences.
By taking family planning, contraception, and safety into account ahead of any sexual rendezvous, pregnancy need not be an issue you have stress over.
If you’re sexually active, take into account these safe sex tips to ensure no unexpected surprises arise, while staying fit and healthy along the way.
Barrier Methods of Birth Control
Potentially the most common and accessible way to avoid getting pregnant is to use barrier birth control. Examples of this include using condoms (there are both male and female versions), spermicide, a diaphragm or a contraceptive sponge.
These are available at all drug stores, from doctors or sexual health clinics and even in public bathroom vending machines.
Condoms literally add a layer between the male’s penis and the vagina of the woman, allowing him to still penetrate and engage in intercourse, only with a protective barrier.
This means the act of intercourse is still enjoyable, only your mind can be put at ease, knowing it’s possible for the male to ejaculated freely without it leading to fertilization.
Condoms come in an array of makes and types, including colored and flavored ones (for oral sex). They also come in varied textures, such as ribbed or feathered, to suit your needs. This means you can tailor sex in the way you want it, while still being safe.
It’s important to make sure they fit the penis accurately, in order to do the job.
Female condoms are also available. Like male condoms, these collect semen and pre-ejaculatory fluid, lessening the risk of pregnancy.
While condoms still hold a 2% risk of being ineffective, they are for the most part excellent when it comes to safe sex tips. It’s important to familiarize yourself with how to wear one, how to remove it safely and to know about expiration dates and undamaged condoms.
This is a gel, foam, or a film that should be applied in addition to a condom. It’s an effective safe sex tip as it adds an extra layer of protection and works by blocking the entrance of the uterus with a sperm-eliminating chemical.
Spermicide can be bought at pharmacies and drugstores. And some brands actually provide condoms with spermicide pre-applied.
The statistics are a little lower when it comes to using spermicide on its own. They are only 78% effective but if used alongside a condom, the effectiveness increases to 95% or greater.
A safe sex tip for the use of spermicide is that after intercourse the woman should remain on her back. This makes sure the gel remains against the cervix and helps avoid any contact with residual semen.
It’s also useful to know that spermicide can cause infections in both the vagina and penis leading to irritation. In this case, consult a doctor.
This item is small and shaped in a ring, like a donut. The sponge also contains spermicide and is placed within the vagina and along the cervix.
These are difficult to feel and so don’t actually make any added impact on the sex itself (provided it’s used correctly).
It’s important to note with this safe sex tip that contraceptive sponges aren’t as accessible as spermicides and condoms, and can also cost you more to purchase.
If this is a method you’d like to use, speak with your pharmacist or healthcare provider if you can’t get hold of one.
Much like a contraceptive sponge, the diaphragm is made of rubber with a flexible rim.
In contrast to the contraceptive sponge, there are various sizes available and you can attend a doctor’s appointment to be fitted for one. The doctor will most likely measure your pelvis and order one for you.
It’s up to the female to make sure it’s inserted prior to any sexual intercourse which will prevent the risk of pregnancy. This must be left in between 6 and 24 hours after sex.
Unlike condoms, diaphragms are not used to protect you from STIs in general; they do, however, help to protect you from the likes of gonorrhea and chlamydia. HIV or herpes are not protected against.
Other Safe Sex Tips
There are other options to consider, aside from using the various methods of birth control above.
Consider these when aiming to avoid an accidental pregnancy.
Abstain from Having Vaginal Sex
This safe sex tip is, in some ways, the simplest: just don’t have vaginal sex.
By not having intercourse in which the penis and the vagina make contact you are essentially eliminating the risk of getting pregnant.
Sex can be enjoyed via other means, such as oral sex. Outercourse is a form of abstinence where people enjoy all other forms of sexual intercourse or play. This could be stimulation using one’s fingers or sex toys, for example.
By doing this, the sperm avoids going near the vagina at all, yet the female still is penetrated and stimulated via other means. Alternatively, women can pleasure men orally or with their hands or fingers, without the male having to enter them.
Anal sex is an option too, as is masturbation.
Using Prescribed Hormonal Birth Control
Women often opt to get a prescription for birth control pills. These pills work by either keeping eggs from leaving the ovaries or by creating a thick cervical mucus that stops sperm from reaching the eggs themselves.
Different pills can be tailored to different individuals and their sexual activity. Speaking to a doctor is important, as they can flag up side effects, risks, and concerns.
It’s also important to know, as an extra safe sex tip, that birth control pills must be taken at the same time, every day. If someone misses a dosage, this ups the risk of pregnancies happening if sex takes place soon after.
It’s also possible to be given a birth control shot which is an injection of synthetic hormones and is issued once every 12 weeks.
If your primary method of birth control doesn’t work, emergency contraception is the best action to take next.
Also known as The Morning-After Pill, these can be taken to stop eggs from being released from the ovary for longer than usual. As a result, any wayward sperm still lingering from intercourse will be killed.
Emergency contraception cannot be used as a regular way to prevent pregnancy, however. If you are 17 years or older, The Morning-After Pill can be obtained at local walk-in clinics, either in 1 or 2 pill doses.
Following the Safe Sex Tips
By taking this advice into consideration you’ll greatly reduce the likes of getting pregnant, which means having sex can be enjoyed far more.
All of the above advice allows flexibility and offers you and your partner options on how best to prevent pregnancy considering your personal sexual circumstances.
These safe sex tips are varied and designed to educate you on how to avoid any unwanted consequences.
This means you can take comfort knowing safe and sensible sex can be enjoyed, without the worry of getting pregnant when you’re not ready.